Big Little Lies ~ Liane Moriarty

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BIG LITTLE LIES is SO MUCH FUN. A novel mirroring, again, the unfortunate headline news. A who-dunnit and will-do-it mystery. A powerful subject matter never to be taken lightly in fiction. Lovely people. Annoying people. One nasty, sinister soul. And one murder. That’s all I’ll say. This story glides smoothly, suspensefully along, and the less you know the better off you’ll be. But when this book ends and those truths are told, there’s something that stays with you, visions you can’t seem to let go, an understanding for a painful fall from grace, a guilty peace for karmic revenge. Your mind, a whirlwind of thoughts, opinions, and emotions – wordy ingredients for a great book. 4/5 stars ~ k

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Me Before You ~ Jojo Moyes

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We all read to be transported someplace else. Sometimes we turn pages to escape feelings. We all definitely read to feel, to laugh. We read to think; sometimes we judge, or I’ll say analyze, carefully, silently, honestly. And if you’re super lucky, you’ll find a book so amazing you’re high-fiving the author in your mind as you turn paper, press the page-turning button, swipe the screen. You’ll admire the author’s ability to pen great words, smooth sentences, to show you lovely and complex fictional people, to write humorously, wittingly. You’ll thank wisdom and talent for inviting you on the most wonderful of rides. Oftentimes you just can’t believe an author’s written glory grabbed ahold of you so perfectly, unforgettably. That great book may mirror a present state of reality in our times of life, which hits it closer to home. It may stir a quiet fire within you.

If you’re sweetly fortunate, as the Mindful Readers are this month, your chosen read will also be a love story so beautiful and real you’ll be a reader full of delicate beauty and crazy despair, releasing tears all over your face, your hands, arms, pages. And then you’ll talk about it, tell whomever will listen, whomever you think would adore this recommended, almost-unfathomable gift. You’ll think about your own life, the choices you would make if living in that smart book’s reality. You’ll tuck away someplace safe to cherish and remember the way this bright red book changed you, made you live differently, in enhanced awareness, appreciation. You’ll remember the way this unique book made you just live.. and live well. Read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Each one of us gave it the highest possible of praises. It’s simply one of the best books around. 5/5 stars ~ k

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The Beach House ~ Mary Alice Monroe

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Head eastward and there you’ll find the beautiful sanctuary of the beach house, Primrose Cottage, resting in the Isle of Palms along the vast, fierce Atlantic Ocean, where loggerhead sea turtles amaze and inspire and always return to the sandy beach dunes to continue on in their circle of life in that humanly admired peaceful pace. If you listen, if you observe closely with intention, they will pass that unknowingly graced nonchalance and ancient intelligence onto you — I suppose in hopes that we all learn to live at a turtle’s pace with that turtle neverending determination, virtues that we must believe are truly so important. This may be where you belong. You may never want to leave.

This easy-flowing novel, a serenity Mary Alice Monroe gifts to all her writings, has an undercurrent of love: A budding relationship; family love; baby love; the love of where we all call home; most importantly, a mother’s love and the love of those brilliant sea turtles; and in the end, most wonderfully, the everlasting “love of our life.”

Who doesn’t love nature and all of its beauty? This book, The Beach House, begins an evolution for Mary Alice Monroe to commence writing about the intricacies and similarities among nature and human nature – gorgeous animals, they really are like us in more ways than you could ever imagine in one moment of pondering about it. Read a Mary Alice Monroe novel and you’re not only gifted a free-spirited, gracious, emotional story filled with inspiration and life lessons, but you’re also given wise knowledge of various animal life, the very nature she is so passionately committed to protecting. Loving one of her books means you hopefully read the last breathtaking page, close the charming cover, pass the story onto another reader, and then go out into the big, bright, beautiful world of nature and do something little, do something great for all of its glory, all of those beautiful creatures we must never forget, the defenseless we must always defend, the helpless we, as humans, must always and forever help, comfort, nourish, and aid for as long as earthly possible. 5/5 stars ~ k

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The Nesting Dolls ~ Cynthia Rogers Parks

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Sometimes I have a trying time with the first sentence of a book review. It happens with books that mirror feelings of mine or with books that imitate life, my life. This tender one does. I must write deservedly. I was emotional at the end of this novel, a novel of unfolding years with distinct female voices, each of them mothers, every one of them beautiful and interesting in their own generational way. Yes, the words on these pages are like a nesting doll, one doll, or life, opening up and unfolding, then graciously handing you another, albeit a smaller doll and I’d like to think a little intricately wiser life than the one before it. This handcrafted Matryoshka doll hopeful symbolism buried deep inside me, then relinquished quiet tears for the love of my mother. These pages whisper the reality of how one life delicately affects deeply the life it bears. Give this book time to open up and unfold for you. I am in love with the last tiny sassy nesting doll Emily. At least I believe she is the last one. I shall not spoil anything for you. Emily is Cynthia Rogers Parks’ rewarding gift to us. Emily’s spirit, personality, and words flowed perfectly within my mind; we are alike in many ways; her voice resembles my writing soul. Ultimately in the end, you will take away from this book the power of honesty, that truth sometimes takes a little time to be told, understood, and accepted. You will be reminded of the beauty of hope, the meaningful presence of life’s little gifts, and that no matter where we come from or where we’re going, bring love along. Love conquers all. We all need it. We all deserve it. Write love down. Share your soul. Accept love’s pain when needed. Embrace love, hold it in the cup of your hand and never, ever let it go. 5/5 stars ~ k

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